Martha was an empty nest single mom who had done the best she knew how and that time/energy had allowed. She looks back now with lots of regret as all four of her children are far from God and not looking to return. When they were in her home she stressed the importance of church, she often referenced Bible passages when she disciplined them, and always she prayed for each of them daily.
Todd is the wandering soul. He doesn’t know what he believes or what he wants. Occasionally he gets excited about some new hobby, job, relationship, or faith, but it never lasts long.
Amy is the child who is mired in depression. She is the one who spoke most about missing a father figure. Divorced and with a child of her own, Amy struggles to muster the energy to get to her minimum wage job. Child support (when it comes) and occasional assistance from Martha helps her “just get by.”
Doug is the child who got into drugs. Meth is his drug of choice. He stays high, doesn’t eat, and when Martha does see him it breaks her heart. Doug is rail thin with sunken eyes that reveal a soul as empty as Doug’s life really is.
Steve is the “successful child.” Steve saw his older siblings throw their life away and vowed not to repeat their mistakes. Steve went to college, got his degree, moved to the nearest major city, got a good job, and worked his way into several promotions in his brief time there. However, his obsession with work is already putting a strain on his marriage and Martha can see how much his kids miss their father. Steve occasionally tells Martha about a few of their marital arguments, but he can’t understand why his wife is upset when he’s “doing everything right.”
Martha thought she would get to rest when the kids all moved out. But babysitting, paying off debt, and the burden she carries for her children hardly let her rest. She knows she should pray for her kids, but a cynicism is growing within her because she has prayed for years and it hasn’t done any good. In her pain, she calls out to God, “Lord, give me the words to pray.”
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